|John Francis Delaney
Newspaper Article - 1922
Johnny Delaney Recalls Thirty Years of Races, Still Picking Winners - Retired from Sport for Fifteen Years, Noted Handicapper Still Retains Interest
This 1922 Evening Telegram (New York) newspaper article by Elisabeth Smith, shown in the image below, presents an interview she conducted with John Francis Delaney. We learn from the article a number of things not previously known about him. For example, he was called "Johnny." This is the only place that I am aware of that actually mentions his nickname; nowhere else in the family or public documents that I have seen is John referred to as Johnny.
The interview also confirms previously documented information about his status as one of the most prominent racing handicappers in the Brooklyn and New York City area. The article mentions that John F. Delaney was "a familiar figure for more than thirty years at racing resorts of the county." According to the article, track devotees were known to say, "Don't bet until you see Johnny Delaney." The first hint of information about his involvement in horse racing, as detailed in John's biography on this site, came from his obituary and was further confirmed and detailed in discussions with Franklyn Lowery Delaney, one of his grandsons, when I first began work on the family history. 1
This wonderful article provides additional insight about Johnny Delaney, including his penchant for collecting in a variety of areas (books, prints, art work and other items) as mentioned in his obituary, and his interest in playing the violin, which was previously unknown to us. We also learn about the illness of his wife, Margaret (Montgomery) Delaney, several years early. The author quotes John as having said that he still maintained an interest in horse racing, but had given up handicapping and attendance at the tracks fifteen years prior to the interview. John is also quoted as having said that he still had an interest in reading racing papers, but that even though he had asked his daughters to send them to him, "they send me everything else."
A picture of John accompanying the article is captioned "Johnny Delaney, familiar figure at horse races for thirty years dreams of thrilling days in his quiet home."
1 Conversations between Robert F. Delaney and his father, Franklyn Lowery Delaney, 1999.
Source: The Evening Telegram (New York), Tuesday, August 29, 1922 [no printed page number]
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